Free peer-based mental health first aid training for young LGBTIQ+ people in Victoria in response to growing mental health concerns Let’s be honest. There’s a LOT of over representation when it comes to young, LGBTQIA+ people and mental health related concerns. And since the dawn of time, we’ve been stanning with each other. And that bond is about to get a whole lot stronger. Over 2 days in late March (24th and 31st), Youth Projects and The Mental Health Coach will deliver cost-free Mental Health First Aid training for 36 young, LGBTQIA+ people from across Victoria. This new initiative will equip 36 community-based, LGBTQIA+ peers with evidence-based skills and knowledge to spot the signs, have the important conversations and support their peers to access critical mental health services. And, of course participants will have the opportunity to finish up with a MHFA Australia accredited and recognised training. In their statistical “Snapshot” (April 2021), LGBTQIA+ Health Australia highlighted that 63.8% of LGBTQIA+ people aged 14 – 21 reported a mental health diagnosis. That’s compared to 45.5% of their hetero peers. Plus, the fact that 71% of young, queer folk did not use a crisis support service during their most recent mental health crisis is even more concerning. “The number of young, queer folk who are seeing their peers really struggling with severe mental health is heartbreaking. So, we must meet young, queer folk where they are at. We must empower and equip them with the right skills to navigate through and connect with critical support services” said Youth Projects CEO, Ben Vasiliou. Delivered by The Mental Health Coach (wholly queer owned, developed and delivered might we add…), the training will include a specialised LGBTIQ+ focus, highlighting the unique mental health support needs and experiences of young, LGBTIQ+ people. The 14-hour cost-free course will be facilitated via a 2-day program on the 24th and 31st of March 2022. We will also be looking at further dates throughout 2022 and will keep you posted once they are confirmed. Each participant will be able to access free, ongoing mentoring for up to 6-months to boost their confidence, support implementation and provide hands-on guidance. To participate in the program, you must be aged 18 - 25, reside in Victoria and identify as an LGBTQIA+ young person (or questioning if you might be), or work with LGBTQIA+ young people. Expressions of interest are now open - please complete this questionnaire! EXPRESS MY INTEREST Expressions of interest close at 5pm Thursday 24 February 2022. Our team will reach out to you a few days after that to let you know if you have a confirmed spot in our first intake. For more information on the program, please download this flyer. This project has been funded by Youth Affairs Council Victoria’s Healthy Equal Youth (HEY) grants program. HEY is proudly funded and supported by the Victorian Government.